Nuclear medicine imaging uses small amounts of radioactive material to pinpoint molecular activity within your body. The radioactive material, which you swallow or have injected into your bloodstream, helps radiologists see the structure and function of your body's organs and tissue. This in turn allows doctors to diagnose diseases at their earliest stages-when treatment is most effective-and to monitor patients' responses to therapeutic interventions.
Carilion Clinic uses non-invasive nuclear medicine imaging for the following purposes:
- To determine whether a patient has cancer or whether the disease has spread.
- To do bone scans or to diagnose cancer, infection, arthritis, or fractures.
- For stress tests, to measure the effect of exercise on your heart.
- For lung scans, to detect respiratory or blood flow problems.
- For gallbladder and liver tests, to assess function or spot inflammation.
- In thyroid function scanning, to evaluate an overactive or underactive thyroid.
- In thyroid therapy, to treat abnormal thyroid function.
- For kidney function assessment.
- To detect infections.
- For brain evaluations, to check blood flow and assess problems such as seizures, memory loss, or brain function.